Become a Beta Tester/9.2

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If you like playing around with operating systems and have a bit of spare time, one of the most effective ways you can assist the project is by reporting problems you encounter using the current release of PC-BSD.

If you have a spare system, you can also download and try out the latest alpha, beta or release candidate snapshots. These versions are still in testing and haven't been officially released yet. Having as many people as possible using PC-BSD on many different hardware configurations assists the project in finding and fixing bugs. This makes using PC-BSD better for everyone.

Note: As of November, 2010, alpha testing snapshots for the upcoming 8.2 and 9.0 releases are available and are updated every few weeks to address bug reports. PC-BSD releases occur shortly after the FreeBSD release to allow for some extra testing. Currently, the projected release date for 8.2 is January 2011 and for 9.0 is June or July 2011. Subscribing to the PC-BSD blog is a good way to keep up-to-date on the availability of testing snapshots and any major bugs that are found within a snapshot.

If becoming a tester interests you, subscribe to the testing mailing list. As new testing versions become available they will be announced on this list. You will also be able to see what problems other testers are finding and can check to see if the problem exists on your hardware as well. You can also subscribe to Gmane's RSS feeds if you want a quick way to keep up with the subjects being discussed on the testing mailing list.

Anyone can become a beta tester. Follow these tips so that you can accurately describe your findings so they can be fixed as soon as possible:

  • before sending an email, search the testing mailing list to see if anyone else has reported a similar problem
  • when reporting a new issue, use a descriptive subject in your email that includes the error and the version of PC-BSD. Ideally, the subject is short (8 or less words) and contains key words about the error. An example would be "Warden on 8.1 fails to export jail".
  • ensure that the body of your email includes the PC-BSD version and architecture (e.g. 8.1 RC2, 64 bit version)
  • give a short (2-3 sentences) description of how to recreate the error (e.g. when I right click a jail in warden and select Export jail to a .wdn file, it lets me select a file name, but then it freezes). If there is an error message, include its text.
  • include any other info that may be useful (e.g. this seems to work on my 32 bit system or this used to work on 8.0)
  • if the problem appears to be hardware related, include a copy of /var/run/dmesg.boot as this file shows the hardware that was probed the last time the PC-BSD system booted
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